Tokyo stocks succumbed to profit-taking Thursday amid weakened sentiment following Wall Street’s consecutive retreat.
The 225-issue Nikkei average shed 119.50 points, or 0.51%, to close at 23,507.23, after the key price gauge managed to extend its winning streak to a second market day Wednesday with a rise of 24.95 points.
The Topix closed down 12.11 points, or 0.74%, at 1,631.79, following a 5.20-point drop the previous day.
Stocks came under selling pressure from the outset, after all three major U.S. market yardsticks including the Dow Jones industrial average fell for the second straight day, hit by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s remarks ruling out the possibility of the White House and the House of Representatives agreeing on a fresh pandemic relief package before the presidential election next month.
The market continued to slide until the early afternoon on profit-taking enhanced by a drop in Dow futures in off-hours trading and the yen’s appreciation against the dollar, brokers said.
After active selling subsided, the Nikkei and Topix went sideways in negative terrain as individual investors, who led trading in recent sessions, came to sit on the fences, they added.
“Investors moved to lock in gains to keep cash on hand until a market direction becomes clearer,” said Masayuki Otani, chief market analyst at Securities Japan Inc.
Meanwhile, Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management Co., noted that downside risk for the Tokyo market is small because the market is underpinned by expectations for the government of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to implement new stimulus measures early.
On the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section, decliners trounced gainers 1,723 to 380 with 76 issues unchanged. Volume fell to 888 million shares from Wednesday’s 967 million shares.
Restaurant operator Saizeriya plunged 6.69% after releasing a net loss projection for the current business year through next August.
Semiconductor test device maker Advantest and chipmaking gear manufacturer Tokyo Electron fell in reaction to Dutch semiconductor giant ASML Holdings’ warning of economic uncertainties.
On the other hand, GMO Payment Gateway shot up 4.76% as it was linked to the Suga government’s policy of promoting cashless payments.
Press release distribution service operator PR Times rocketed 16.59% after posting a year-on-year rise of nearly 370% in its net profit for March to August.
In index futures trading on the Osaka Exchange, the key December contract on the Nikkei average fell 90 points to end at 23,500.